Saturday, December 30, 2017

Favorite Movies - 2017

I was just thinking about why my number of books read in 2017 was so much lower than in past years and now I know.  Ever since the presidential election I've had more trouble concentrating and, less patience for just okay writing so I turned to binge watching a few series - Curb Your Enthusiasm (so good to laugh), Boardwalk Empire, The Good Doctor, and, This is Us.

I also tracked movies watched for the first time and the number was (50). Of these, (24) were "At the Movies" and, (26) were home on television (many repeats for me and many all time favorites).
 Here's a list -- (highlighted ones are favorites)

  1. Fences
  2. Hidden Figures
  3. Love the Coopers (tv)
  4. Postcards From the Edge (tv)
  5. Bridge of Spies (tv)
  6. The Founder
  7. Manchester By the Sea
  8. The Lion
  9. As Good As it Gets (tv)
  10. Something's Gotta Give (tv)
  11. My Cousin Vinny (tv)
  12. Dan in Real Life (tv)
  13. Insomnia (tv)
  14. The Gift (tv)
  15. Going in Style
  16. Doubt (tv)
  17. Gifted
  18. The Forger (tv)
  19. The Dinner
  20. The Zookeeper's Wife
  21. Collateral Beauty
  22. Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (tv)
  23. Mystic River (tv)
  24. Beguiled
  25. Beguiled (original - tv)
  26. Dunkirk
  27. Labor Day (tv)
  28. Lakeview Terrace (tv)
  29. Revolutionary Road (tv)
  30. Maudie
  31. Scent of a Woman (tv)
  32. Wind River
  33. An Inconvenient Sequel
  34. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (40th Anniversary Edition)
  35. The Glass Castle
  36. Solitary Man (tv)
  37. Spotlight (tv)
  38. St Vincent (tv)
  39. Mother
  40. Hidden Figures (tv)
  41. Falling Down (tv)
  42. Between Two Mountains
  43. Brad's Status
  44. Among the Brave
  45. Murder on the Orient Express
  46. Wonder
  47. Roman J. Israel Esq.
  48. The Bishop's Wife (tv)
  49. Elf (tv)
  50. The Christmas Story (tv)
Do you keep a movie list?  Are any of these favorites of yours as well?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Favorite Reads in 2017 - First Book of 2018

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a wonderful day with family and friends.  Our Christmas Day celebrations have been postponed  until New Year's Eve Day due to a Christmas snowstorm (our first in a decade) and, a sick grandchild (ever and cough) and, a sick ME!  I felt like I've been fighting a cold for over 6 weeks but, it finally got the best of me. It seems like a bad sinus infection (chest x-ray was fine), hoping the antibiotics kick in soon.  I'm rarely sick so, hoping this doesn't stick around much longer.  

In 2017,  I read (85) books which I know I shouldn't feel too bad about but, it was the least number of books that I've read in about 15 years. Obviously, retirement doesn't mean one will have more time for books.  I think I hit several books that turned into DNF titles for me and then I took a break hoping to find something that I would love.

In no particular order, here are the books I enjoyed the most this year (links to reviews below):

Here's my complete list of books read.

2017 Books Read

  1. Chocky; John Wyndham - 4/5 (my shelves) - Jan/2017
  2. The Seventh Day; Yu Hua; 3.5/5 (eGalley) - Jan/2017
  3. On Turpentine Lane; Elinor Lipman (eGalley) - 4.5/5 - Jan/2017
  4. The Leisure Seeker; Michael Zadoorian (my shelves) - 5/5 - Jan/2017
  5. The Marriage of Opposites; Alice Hoffman (eGalley-BookGroup pick) - 4/5 -Jan/2017
  6. Second Hand; Michael Zadoorian - (my shelves) 3.5/5 - Jan/2017
  7. Hospital Hill; Katherine Anderson - (library) - 3.5/5 - Jan/2017
  8. The Beautiful Dead; Belinda Bauer - (eGalley) - 3.5/5 - Jan/2017
  9. The Fifth Floor; Julie Oleszek - (library) - 4.5/5 - Feb/2017
  10. Excellent Women; Barbara Pym - (audio & my shelf) - 4/5 -Feb/2017
  11. The Impossible Fortress; Jason Rekuluk - (eGalley) 4/5 - Feb/2017
  12. Is This Tomorrow; Caroline Leavitt - (audio) - 4/5 Feb/2017
  13. Setting Free the Kites; Alex George - (arc) - 4/5 Feb/2017
  14. Being Mortal; Atul Gawande (book group) NF - 4.5/5 - Feb/2017
  15. Hillbilly Elegy; J.D. Vance - NF (audio) - 4/5 - Feb/2017
  16. How To Be a Bigger Bunny; Florence & Wendell Minor (print) - Feb/2017
  17. Behind Closed Doors; B.A. Paris (audio & eGalley) - 4/5 - 2/2017
  18. Everything Happens Today; Jess Browner - (arc) - 4.5/5 - 2/2017
  19. Agnes; Peter Stamm - (arc) - 4/5 - 2/2017
  20. Among the Lesser Gods; Margo Catts - (arc) - 4.5/5 - March/2017
  21. First Women; Kate Anderson Brower - (audio) - 3.5/5 - March/2017
  22. The Residence; Kate Anderson Brower (audio) - 4/5 - March/2017
  23. What I Know For Sure; Oprah Winfrey (NF) (Audio) - 5/5 - March/2017
  24. Books for Living; Will Schwalbe (NF) (audio) - 5/5 - March/2017
  25. Every Living Thing; Cynthia Ryland - (my shelves) - 4.5/5 - March/2017
  26. Ill Will; Dan Chaon (eGalley) - 4/5 - March/2017
  27. All the Stars in the Heavens; A. Trigiani (library) - 2/5 - March/2017
  28. The Widowmaker; Paul Dorion (audio) - 4/5 March/2017
  29. The Futures; Anna Pitoniak (arc) - 4/5 March/2017
  30. Green Pants; Kenneth Kraegel (my shelves) 5/5 March/2017
  31. Rain; Sam Usher (my shelves) 5/5 March/2017
  32. How To Be Human; Paula Cocozaza - 3.5/5 - April/2017
  33. The Inner Life of Cats; Thomas Macnamee - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  34. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty; Ramona Ausubel - April/2017
  35. Born A Crime; Trevor Noah (NF) - (audio) 5/5 - April/2017
  36. White Fur; Jardine Libaire - (ARC) - 5/5 - April/2017
  37. Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man, and Their Journey Across America; Britt Collins - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  38. Everything I Never Told You; Celeste Ng - (audio) (book group) - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  39. Dark Flood Rises; Margaret Drabble - library - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  40. The Hideaway; Lauren Denton - (arc) - 4/5 April/2017
  41. The Fall of Lisa Bellow; Susan Perabow (audio) 3.5/5 - May/2017
  42. Anything is Possible; Elizabeth Strout (eGalley) - 4.5/5 - May/2017
  43. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit; Michael Finkle - (audio) - 4/5 May/2017
  44. Her Every Fear; Peter Swanson (audio) - 3.5/5 - May/2017
  45. My Very Own Space; Pippa Goodhart - 3/5 - May/2017
  46. The Ocean at the End of the Lane; Neil Gaiman (book group/library) - 4/5 - May/2017
  47. The Book of Polly; Kathy Hepinstall (library) - 4/5 - May/2017
  48. Woman No. 17; Edan Lepucki - (arc) 4/5 - May/2017
  49. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions ; C. Adichie - (library) - 5/5 - May/2017
  50. Miss Rumphius; Barbara Cooney - 5/5 (library) - June/2017
  51. The Stars are Fire; Anita Shreve - 4.5/5 (eGalley) - June/2017
  52. The Breakdown; B.A. Paris - 4.5/5 (arc) - June/2017
  53. We Should All Be Feminists; C. Adichie (NF) - 4.5/5 (library) June/2017
  54. Dead Wake; Erik Larson (NF) - 4/5 (book group) June/2017
  55. The Yellow Wallpaper; Charlotte Perkins Gilman - 4.5/5 (eBook) June/2017
  56. Everybody's Son; Thrity Umrigar - 4.5/5 - June/2017
  57. Beautiful Animals; Lawrence Osborne - 4/5 (arc) June-2017
  58. The Leavers; Lisa Ko - 4/5 (library) July-2017
  59. The Lying Game; Ruth Ware - 4/5 - (eGalley) - July-2017
  60. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine; Gail Honeyman - 5/5 (audio) - July-2017
  61. The Best of Us: a memoir; Joyce Maynard - (eGalley) - 5/5 - July/2017
  62. Sea Change; Robert Parker - (audio) 2/5 - July/2017
  63. The Summer That Made Us; Robyn Carr - (eGalley) - 4/5 - July/2017
  64. I'll Take You There; Wally Lamb (arc) - 2/5 - July/2017
  65. Orhan's Inheritance; Aline Ohanesian (library-book group read) - 4/5 (August/2017)
  66. Papa: My Story; David Ortiz - 4/5 (library) (August/2017)
  67. Grief Cottage; Gail Godwin - 4.5/5 (eGalley) (August/2017)
  68. A Stranger in the House; Shari Lapena - 4/5 (audio) (August/2017)
  69. The Lauras; Sara Taylor - 4/5 (arc) (August/2017)
  70. Home going; Yaa Gyasi (reread-book group) 4.5/5 August/2017
  71. Before, During and After; Richard Bausch (ARC) 4/5 (Sept/2017
  72. Little Fires Everywhere; Celeste Ng (eGalley) 5/5 (Sept/2017)
  73. Death of a Busybody; George Bellairs - 4/5 (eGalley) Sept/2017
  74. The Old Man; Thomas Perry (audio) 4.5/5 - Sept/2017
  75. Almost Sisters; Joshilyn Jackson (audio) 3.5/5 (Sept/2017)
  76. The Deep Dark Descending; Allen Eskens - 4/5 (eGalley) Oct/2017
  77. Never Coming Back; Alison McGhee - (arc) 3.5/5 (Oct./2017)
  78. Camino Island; John Grisham (audio) 3.5/5 (October/2017)
  79. The Muralist; B.A. Shapiro - 4.5/5 book group (October)
  80. The Music Shop; Rachel Joyce - 4.5/5 (eGalley) (October/2017
  81. Ties; Domenico Starnone - 5/5 (library) November/2017
  82. Unraveling Oliver; Liz Nugent -  4.5/5 (library) November/2017
  83. Midwinter Break; Bernard MacLaverty; 4/5 (library) Nov/2017
  84. The Heart's Invisible Furies; John Boyne - 4.5/5 (eGalley)- Dec/2017
  85. Small Blessings; Martha Woodroof - 4/5 - (my shelves) - Dec/2017

My First Book for 2018

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas Holiday Wishes

Sending end of year wishes to all my readers, may 2018 be a special year for each of you.

Everyone seems so busy this time of year that I've decided to stop this Tuesday feature for the remainder of 2017.  I'm pleased to announce that Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach has volunteered to take over this weekly post in 2018. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  (This is our book group read for January and, although I've already read it when it was first released, I plan to listen to the audio before our meeting at the end of January).

Small Great Things; Jodi Picoult
Ballantine Books - 2016


"THE MIRACLE HAPPENED ON WEST SEVENTY-FOURTH STREET, IN THE HOME where Mama worked.   It was big brownstone encircled by a wrought-iron fence, and overlooking either side of the ornate door were gargoyles, their granite faces carved from my nightmares. They terrified me, so I didn't mind the fact that we always entered through the less impressive side door, whose keys Mama kept on a ribbon in her purse."

Based on that intro, would you read more or pass?  Feel free to join us by posting your own INTRO and linking below. (I really enjoyed this one previously)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Mid December Update - 2017

December has been a busy month and about to get busier for many of us.  This month is another milestone birthday month for me - hello Medicare - happy to be another year older and still healthy and feeling great!  I got an early birthday present from my husband, the new iPhone X, I previously had the 6 plus for the last 3 years which I loved, but this is a bit smaller yet just about the same screen display and has awesome camera capabilities. Love it!

Here's a pic from yet another birthday celebration; We are so lucky to have these little cuties in our lives.

We saw the new Denzel Washington movie a few weeks ago ---

Denzel Washington played a very different part as the title character in Roman J. Israel, Esq. Roman is a former activist lawyer who is always sloppily dressed and sometimes appears to be in another world, but is very bright, having spent much of his legal career behind the scenes doing case prep work. However, when the owner of the law firm where he works for dies unexpectedly, his career and life changes in inexplicable ways in a matter of just three weeks.

We enjoyed it!

Christmas Prep
  • Did a little decorating
  • I sent out our cards
  • Christmas shopping is done
  • We got our first snowstorm of 2017 - 4"
  • We saw a fun live performance in the midst of the snowstorm - Crimes of the Heart
  • I baked holiday cookies and froze them, then defrosted 6 for us to sample:) delicious
  • I attended a book group Christmas lunch at a nearby restaurant which was fun and, we got our 2018 reading list.
  • We tried a new to us top rated Italian restaurant a few towns away and we were very pleased.
  • We celebrated my birthday with a live production called, Home for the Holidays - it was fantastic.
  • Today we gathered family for Brunch with Mr & Mrs Claus, a tradition. 
  • Next week we are going away overnight to see friends in another state and out to dinner as well.
  • Finally Christmas get-together here on the 25th
Reading - very little of that happening again this month

Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Turtles All the Way Down; John Green

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  

Dutton Books - 2017


"AT THE TIME I FIRST REALIZED I might be fictionl, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School, where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time--between 12:37p.m. and 1:14p.m.--by forces so much larger than myself that I couldn't even begin to identify them.  If those forces had given me a different lunch period, or if the tablemates who helped author my fate had chosen a different topic of conversation that September day, I would've met a different end--or at least a different middle.  But I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell."

Based on that intro, would you read more or pass?  Feel free to join us by posting your own INTRO and linking below.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Small Blessings; Martha Woodroof

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  

Small BlessingsMartha Woodroof
St. Martin's Press - 2014

Part One

Chapter 1

"There she was, as welcome in this insular community as fresh air in a multiplex, a woman who, rumor had it, risked being happy.  Tom had heard the most about her from Russell Jacobs, his colleague in the English Department, and now he was looking at her in the flesh, at this tall, slender, dark-haired creature, oddly stylish in her ill-fitting, baggy trousers and white Tee-shirt."

Based on that intro, would you read more or pass?  Feel free to join us by posting your own INTRO and linking below.